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Australia to Cull 2 Million Feral Cats

Discussion in 'Real Life Discussion' started by Joe, May 6, 2019.

  1. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I didn't intend to derail the MPFA thread, but derail it I did, so since this is generating some discussion I'll fix it.

    Here's the article I posted:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/magazine/australia-cat-killing.html

    Given that feral cats are devastating native populations, Australia has ramped up its efforts to exterminate feral cats - most notably by dropping poisoned sausages across the outback.

    I personally support the cull - the cats will end up eating themselves and destroying the native fauna if not checked.
     
  2. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I'm quite curious as to what method they are going to use to effect the cull. There are, after all, many ways to skin a cat.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    We've known each other, what? 10 years? I'd hate you if I didn't respect you.


    Apparently the two million target is likely impossible to reach, but we're going to make a good effort.

    That said, methods for the cull:

    • Airdropped poison
    • Farmers shoot on sight
    • Bowhunters in high-volume feral cat areas (note, if you read the article I linked above, you'll see they don't just kill the cat - they ensure the kittens are destroyed, too)
    • $7 bounty per scalp on feral cats in various parts of the country

    For comparison, the feral cat problem is estimated to kill about 1 million native Australian birds every day, and 1.7 million native reptiles every day. Source.

    These cats got to go. They gotz to go.
     
  4. Longsword

    Longsword Seventh Year

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    Couldn't do it against the emus. Perhaps the lesson has been learnt ?
    Good luck.
     
  5. CareOtters

    CareOtters Dark Lord DLP Supporter

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    Misread this as farmers shot on sight. I'm all for it.

    This reminds me of when there was a bounty on rat tails, however, and pretty soon after some enterprising fucks had created rat farms out in the woods.

    Can you farm cats and still turn a profit at $7 a scalp? I expect we'll find out soon enough.
     
  6. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    Cats are a problem all over the world, one that people are loath to deal with for obvious reasons.

    In principle yes, it has to be done, though the effectiveness has yet to be seen. It's going to be a PR nightmare though. Just wait till someone's pet goes missing or a pile of dead kittens ends up on the news.

    Once the initial messy business is done, the best thing they can do is really ramp up their spay and neutering program. Make it free for any cat and mandatory for any stray. Really push to change the culture on getting your pet done or else they will have the same problem again in a few years.
     
  7. Horton

    Horton Second Year

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    Having a monetary incentive for the amount of cats you brought back is an idiotic idea, as a dead cat is a dead cat, either a pet one or a feral one.

    And no, I don’t think you’ll be able to tell the difference with a dead cat, as it’s hard to assess the health of a dead cat unless it’s blatantly malnourished or fat; and that isn’t even a very good metric anyway.

    People need to come first, protecting wildlife is fine and dandy, but allowing for a possible black market in shooting peoples pets for profit? Not fucking cool.

    Either do it without an incentive or not at all. I suppose “parts of the country” implies sometype of effort to avoid that risk, but I still don’t like it, especially when you can just drive over to those parts after killing someones pet in an urban area.
     
  8. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    Considering the price is $7 per dead cat, snatching up pets seems unlikely to turn a profit. It's probably more an incentive for farmers and hunters already in the areas the feral cats occupy.
     
  9. Paradise

    Paradise Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    This seems like something of a bad idea, I mean its not going to end up like Cane Toads no doubt but like, the cats are now part of the ecosystem, and do cull the prey population somewhat. Dunno seems like there would be a short ecosystem shock and then it might just rubber band back to what it was before.
     
  10. Silirt

    Silirt Auror DLP Supporter

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    They compete with native Australian species for the prey population. If the cats die, the prey population will go up, then the other predators will eat them and the populations of the other predators will go up, which is the intended purpose. It's doubtful they'll kill every single feral cat with the poisoned sausages, and they'll likely need to explore multiple options, but the idea is theoretically sound by the Lotka-Volterra predator/prey model.
     
  11. Iztiak

    Iztiak Heir

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    Didn’t want to derail the funny pics thread.

    To my(very limited) understanding, the poison used is one that occurs naturally in Australia, making non-native species more vulnerable to it than the ones that have evolved some resistance. At least that’s how I heard it. Also something about using a capsule that cats are more likely to eat, but idk.

    No idea if that’s true or even if that’s how it would work, but that’s what I have heard recently.
     
  12. Innomine

    Innomine Death Eater ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I don’t know what Aus does, but NZ has more of a problem with this. We are the only country with no native mammals. We brought rabbits with us from the UK, and they got out of control. So they had the bright idea to bring over some predators to control them. Stoats, ferrets, possums etc. Too be fair, the Maori brought rats with them.

    Of course, these predators have just absolutely decimated the local bird population, as they have no natural predators. Some birds, like the kiwi, are flightless. Most nest on the ground. When James Cook first arrived, he said the bird song used to be deafening. It’s not anymore. There are stories of how it used to be a hundred years ago.

    We’ve used 1080 poison to control these predators since 1950. There’s a lot of opposition, but it’s the best option science has. And it is effective. There are warnings where and when it is used. It is deadly to dogs, and I have 2 cats back home where it is used. They do something to it to make it unappealing to them somehow. But it’s not really a long term solution.

    We have some offshore islands where we’ve eliminated all predators and are restoring the bird populations, and have a goal of predator free 2050 for the country. This means we have fun playing around with viruses that kill all rabbits, and one idea is to modify the species so they produce only one type of offspring, or breed infertile.

    We are pretty hardcore about biosecurity these days. We’ve got some pretty harsh fines and enforcement on people bringing any kind of produce in at the border. And there’s a certain type of fruit fly in Queensland, which if gets introduced would cause a couple of billion in damages to our agricultural industry. So we spend 15-20 million trapping, quarantining areas, and basically hunting down any mating pairs. Each one found makes national headlines.
     
  13. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    You know... While I can understand the issue here I can't help but classify most of those described in this article as pieces of shit. That's not remotely fair of me to do because they are probably good folks.

    And I don't say that because they want to cull a feral cat population but because of the sense of malice and dark humor I got from reading this.

    Here's one example:
    The fact that they're joking about it and almost seeming to enjoy it bothers me.

    And yeah - I feel the same way about non-cats as well. I'm all for killing dangerous wild boars or rabid coyotes or various game for food. But I still classify those who act like this as assholes.

    I'd be shit at a job that required a lot of gallows humor apparently.

    It's just a bit more potent here cuz it's cats.

    Edit: To clarify, I support that a cull needs to happen. I've just always been weird about the appearance of enjoying killing things, even if it's deer, etc. I know I'm abnormal there.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  14. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    I mean, killing those kittens was an act of mercy. They would have died shortly afterwards and attempting to save them while doing a cat cull is kind of the opposite of that guys job. It's a disturbing act for the average person but from a clinical point of view it is far better than leaving them to their inevitable fate.
     
  15. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I don't disagree with that at all.

    Same as I don't disagree with killing deer for food. What always bugs me on a personal level is the things like "five little killers" as opposed to just, you know, treating it clinically while putting them down.

    I admitted it's not fair to judge people based on attitudes like that. Run into tons of it with hunters down here too - I'm all for hunting, but I think less of people who demean their kills and laugh, etc.

    Not fair, I shouldn't, etc. *shrug*

    Feral cat population needs to be culled, agreed. Killing the kittens was an act of mercy, agreed. But I've always thought less of people - even though I shouldn't - who treat things like that with a certain casualness even while I agree with the action itself.
     
  16. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Huh, guess I found my own bias / prejudice that I wasn't 100% aware of having. Thanks DLP :D
     
  17. Innomine

    Innomine Death Eater ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    It's always good to know your own biases, once you do, you can account for them!
     
  18. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    My stance on this kind of stuff is that, as a general rule, black humor is likely a/the coping mechanism for a distasteful but necessary job, one of those "if you're not laughing, you're crying" things. It's treated casually because treating it seriously means having to fully bear that weight, and nobody really wants to do that.

    I'm most definitely an optimist that likes to believe the best of people though, so that's more than likely coloring my view there.
     
  19. Fatality

    Fatality Unspeakable

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    I have a farm out in rural Australia (I don't live out there but visit occasionally) and I'm not too happy with having the poison around, we had a letter from the local council about it and if you have any pet dogs out to the area you have to keep them muzzled so they won't eat any poisoned snags. Others I know out there have definitely expressed concern over knock on effects from the poison, that not only is it getting dogs and cats but whatever else might eat the poisoned carcass after too. I hadn't heard about what Iztiak is suggesting with the native poison but that sounds somewhat hard to believe.

    With regards to what Ched is saying, I completely get it and have had very similar feelings about the attitude to wildlife in the country in the past, but it is definitely something they become inured to out there. One of my mates is from a big farm well inland and when it gets dry out there they have to kill anything out there that is eating all the grass before their cattle gets it or their farm will go under from the drought. This means the occasional day/night of sitting out in a ute shooting 200-300 kangaroos with a .223 rifle, or herding thousands of wild goats into a literal killing field. I can imagine it comes easy to lack value for wildlife after doing something like that regularly. I definitely agree with Agayek that it's a bit of a coping mechanism to have a lighthearted attitude towards it, especially in Australia.
     
  20. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Er, yeah. My point was that I understand it is sometimes black humor and sometimes a coping mechanism and that I don't care.

    I'm not ignorant of the reasons, I just find it difficult to like people on a personal level who display these attitudes.

    I'll stop derailing now.

    Yes. Cull population that is screwing with natural wildlife. Good luck.
     
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